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Two pints and a Negroni

Creative Director, Ben, shares how he keeps his Creatives thinking fresh with a bank of inspiration.


Ben Bateson



Ben bateson.jpg

Creative Director, Ben, shares how he keeps his Creatives thinking fresh with a bank of inspiration.

A big part of being a Creative, and something I’m always trying to do, is build up a knowledge bank of things such as techniques, ads, photographers, cool designers and art. Not necessarily something that you’ll use straight away, but if you fill the brain with this stuff, you can then dip into it when time comes. You’re never gonna read every book in a library, but it’s good to know there’s a place where it’s all kept should you need it.

I genuinely think whether you’re a Copywriter or an Art Director, building up a knowledge bank stands you in good stead not just for the present but whatever brief might land on your desk that year or the years to come. A joy of our job is that we work on such different brands and products day in, day out. One week it’s pizza, the next week it’s airlines, the week after a sparkling juice drink. So having a wide variety of inspiration built up that you can tap into keeps the thinking fresh – or at least ads a level of inspiration.

We’ve all been there. Staring at a blank piece of paper, or out of the window with our feet up on desk, and the inspiration just isn’t coming. Sometimes you need a visual, a technique, something interesting to kick start the ideas.

So, with that in mind, I decided to create a weekly bit of inspiration for the team. A little document of three interesting things we’ve seen that week that will hopefully inspire and start to build up that knowledge bank.

We call it ‘2 PINTS AND A NEGRONI’.

We’ve had everything from a really nice beer can design, to a photographer that made water pistols look like the best water pistols you’ve ever seen, some beautiful watercolour cityscapes, Batman having a drink in his local coffee shop and even a melting disco ball art piece.

So when the time comes and somebody asks ‘ah I need a really ace shot of a bakewell tart landing in custard’* – they might have seen something like that.

Oh, and it’s called 2 PINTS AND A NEGRONI as a bit of a marking system.

Myself and our Senior Copywriter, Emily, would often send each other cool things we’d seen. One day, Emily said ‘I’d like to have a beer with the person who came up with that’, and I thought that was a really lovely different description.

From there, we said if the work was good, you’d share a beer. If it’s really good, two beers. But if it’s really really good, then you’d like to share two pints and a negroni with the creator. And that seemed a nice way to package this little bit of weekly inspiration up.

So that’s what I did, and we’re currently 22 episodes in.

So yeah, essentially, I hopefully inspire my team by sending them stuff they didn’t know they were going to see that day.


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